Starting a new research contract whilst pregnant

(9 Posts)
SweetUU Mon 21-May-18 12:24:47


I am starting a new 8 month research contract in late July and planning to fall pregnant before then. I would have ideally liked to delay it but I am going from one contract to the next and will do so in the next few years, and age is not in my favor, and I have decided even though I wont be eligible for university maternity pay I still want to go ahead. Would it come across as a bit unprofessional and jeopardise my chances at the new institution?

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BellaHadidHere Mon 21-May-18 15:13:40

So does that mean you'll be on maternity leave for the last bit of the 8-month contract?

SweetUU Mon 21-May-18 17:12:20

@BellaHadidHere Yes, I probably would by a month or two.

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DrMantisToboggan Mon 21-May-18 18:24:15

“Planning to fall pregnant” - so you haven’t even started trying yet? Take the job, you don’t know how long these things can take.

SweetUU Mon 21-May-18 19:48:02

@DrMantisToboggan thanks, I have taken the role. I'm just wondering if it comes across as unprofessional?

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milkjetmum Mon 21-May-18 22:51:02

Your life outside work is very important and anyone who says starting a family is unprofessional is a Muppet. There are of course be Muppets around, so develop a thick skin about it and look into returning to research funding (my uni offers funding to those returning from mat leave and several grants are aimed at women balancing work and home responsibilities).

Remember you don't need to notify your employer for a fair while (26 weeks ish) unless you have special requirements eg lab work needing a risk assessment.

Those of us who have had children in post doc years are well aware you can't time these things exactly (9 months TTC dd1, positive pregnancy test days after starting new contract, appprox 5min TTC dd2 shock so no enhanced mat leave pay).

SweetUU Tue 22-May-18 07:11:43

@milkjetmum thanks it is reassuring to hear this.

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Thespringsthething Tue 22-May-18 08:55:46

If time isn't on your side, then I'd just go ahead and try for your baby. If this happened to me (as a PI), I'd just find someone in the temp staff to fill in for the final couple of months. Of course, you don't know how long it will take either, so you may or may not be pregnant during the contract. An eight month one is an awkward amount of time anyway, not really long enough to settle anywhere. Go for it- and crossed fingers for you!

user2222018 Tue 22-May-18 09:15:49

Would it come across as a bit unprofessional and jeopardise my chances at the new institution?

How on earth could they know whether it was planned?

If a researcher has a baby on a fixed term contract, there is a reasonable chance they won't get another academic job, because they won't be in a good position for applying and jobs are very competitive.

In terms of jeopardising your chances - you mean additional fixed term contracts or permanent contracts at the new institution? Again, you might not be in as strong a position as somebody who hadn't taken leave in terms of recent publications, grants etc. But if they ranked you lower just because you had taken maternity leave would you really want to work for them?

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